Thursday, May 29, 2008

Exciting News about Catholic Children's Book Fairs and Clubs

I had the most exciting news this week from Sally Feller of the wonderful Pauline Books and Media. Sally shared with me the great news that Pauline is creating a book fair that will provide an alternative to the Scholastic book fairs now being offered in many Catholic schools. I'll keep you posted as I get additional details. Sally shares the following information:

The book fairs will be accompanied by a magazine called JClub: A Catholic Place for Kids and a website with fun stories, games, activities, videos, music, and reviews for kids. The site and magazine will also have content for parents and educators so that they can learn about media literacy, crafts, a “Help! My Kids Are Asking Me!...section with catechetical questions that can be sent in for the Daughters of St. Paul to answer, a “Meet a Sister” page, Saint-a-Day bios and questions, and more.

JClub Book Fairs came about from the request of principals, teachers and parents for a Catholic children’s book fair and web site that would provide good and wholesome activities, resources and books for Catholic students, teachers and parents. Another benefit of JClub is the media awareness component addressing Christian living in a media culture. The J is for Jesus placing a focus on Jesus and our Catholic faith—it is also a fish hook that reminds us that we are caught by Jesus and sent to be fishers of men and women for the gospel in his Church.

Home Organization Resources and Books

This is a post from Productivity @ Home, but I thought you might enjoy it here as well!

simply stated: home & organizing | Blogs | By

One day last summer, I caught myself in Barnes and Noble with a book in my hand about de-cluttering. I was making my way to the checkout line to purchase it when the irony of the situation struck me. In my case, much of the clutter in my life is owing to the fact that I review books for my sites and have them coming out my ears. Adding another book to the mix was not the answer...

But today, has a great post about home organizing books. I plan to put these on my wish list at the library and try to glean whatever pearls of wisdom they hold. I listen regularly to Peter Walsh's show on XM radio, so that one is at the top of my list and of course David Allen's "Getting Things Done" is already one of my favorites. Also, many of the precepts in these books can be found on the web. The trick is starting small and implementing steps every day to better organize our homes.

This week, I undertook a major reorganization of my office. It was precipitated by the fact that a TV crew was coming to film in my home office. I didn't want my "stacks" memorialized on film, so I got to work. In the process, I did some major decluttering. While I'm not completely finished with this project, my work environment feels much more productive and it inspires me to take on some other projects around my home.

A few tips for taking on this type of home organization project:
  1. Set aside time - Take on a home organization project when your schedule will permit you several hours of uninterrupted time. Nothing is worse than getting started and then never finishing - you end up with a worse situation than when you started.
  2. Choose one area of your home to start - Mine was my home office, for obvious reasons. Choose a small, manageable space. Complete your work in that area before moving on to the next.
  3. Take photos - I wish I had taken "before" photos, but my "after documentation of what my office CAN look like will serve as motivation next time it gets totally out of control.
  4. Think things through before you get started - One area of my office that was particularly driving me crazy was my Podcasting "studio". Wires everywhere and no apparent organization made me crazy every week when I sat down to record. That area is now very well laid out, but it required some pre-planning to lay out all of the cords, phone lines and equipment in a small, compact space.
  5. Celebrate your success - My husband and I have a tradition that involves giving one another feedback when a home project is tackled. He came into my office after the re-org and raved about how great things looked. I do the same for him when he fixes a broken sprinkler or tackles something equally as tedious. It's good to have someone appreciate that hard work that goes into making a home run well.

Learning Latin?

Documenta Lingua Latina exarata

Adam and I will be taking on the daunting task of beginning homeschool Latin this summer, so I'd love your recommendations on the best curriculum and good resources. That's why this post, about the Vatican web site in Latin, caught my eye. I can't read the web site yet, but it looks good!

Are you an Organ Donor?

Woman’s Waking After Brain Death Raises Many Questions About Organ Donation | Catholic Exchange

This article at Catholic Exchange is on my "must discuss with my husband the ER doctor" list. I'm a huge advocate of organ donation and a regular blood donor, so the article's title intrigued me. I remember a few years ago being involved in a very passionate discussion on this very topic in a social setting. My fellow conversationalist, ardently anti-organ donation, argued that he didn't want his life endangered by overzealous doctors looking to retrieve his organs. I discounted his ideas, but this article has me thinking twice.

Are you an organ donor? Why, or why not? To me, it's always seemed like a slam dunk decision - maybe not!

Make Your House a Home

Make Your House A Home Challenge In June

If I weren't going to be out of town for two weeks in June, I'd be sorely tempted to participate in Suzanne's inspiring challenge. Her blog lists all of the details on how you can participate. Instead, I'll be making three hotels my home for June, but maybe I'll follow suit in July! If you join in, please let me know how it goes!

This recipe looks great for the weekend

Food for the Soul » Blog Archive » Grilled Chicken with Mango Chutney

Fr. Leo has what looks to be a very yummy grill recipe this week. I'm likely to do the chutney with apricots, since we have a tree in the backyard that mass produces them and I'm always looking for something creative to do with them. Have you got good grill recipes or links to share? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Catholic Moments #52 - Heidi Hess Saxton, Behold Your Mother

Our guest on today's show, Heidi Hess Saxton, is an author, Catholic adoption advocate, magazine editor and speaker. Lisa shares some information on her "super secret project" and we look forward to the Catholic New Media Celebration. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Heidi Hess Saxton
Heidi's books:
Raising Up Mommy: A Study in Womanly Vice and Virtue
Behold Your Mother
Canticle Magazine
Catholic Hack sponsors Tarek Saab
Media Liaison Kerry's recommendation: Grace Before Meals

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #52

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Catholic Rumors?

Have you been over to Rebecca Christian's blog lately?  She has this feature called "Rumor Has It" which appeals to the part of me that occasionally reads People Magazine on airplanes.  The difference is that Rebecca writes about cool Catholic people and happenings from a very cool, young Catholic perspective.  I can't wait to meet this talented young lady in person at the Catholic New Media Celebration.  Something tells me she'll be toting a video camera and will have some post-celebration footage to share.

Catholic in Film School » Blog Archive » Rumor has it…vol. 4. Weekly Column Roundup

Did everyone have a nice, long weekend? We did! I actually managed to take a NAP yesterday, which was incredible and felt very self-indulgent. I've got a few great columns to share with you this week. Keep your eyes on the site too, as I may be adding a few more throughout the week.

Prayer Spam by Sherry Antonetti

Making the Most of Ordinary Time by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Teaching Children about Confession by Lori Callaway

Image of the Father by Guest Columnist Genevieve Kineke

Welcome Home to a Smelly Kitchen by Marybeth Hicks

Something for Nothing by Lisa Barker

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Come to CNMC

This video is absolutely hilarious if you're an SQPNer - you have to take a few minutes to check it out. Great work Sean!

Guilt Free Software

Chris has written a great post at Tech Tips for Catholic Teens extolling the virtues of open source software and how it can help us to be better stewards of our resources. I'm looking forward to checking out some of the free software he recommends and appreciate his reminder:

So using open-source software is a great way to support the open-source
movement, allow you to create in ways that you didn’t think were
possible due to costs and to save money to be placed aside for better
purposes, like supporting the Church or those in need around the world.
How’s that for putting your money where your faith is?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Catholic Tube | Catholic Videos

Looking for Catholic video content for your blog, website, or your own personal entertainment?  Check out Catholic Tube which has many videos, all organized into channels which make them easily accessible.  I was happy to find the Father Roderick, Life Teen and Women of Grace Channels, including some others that were new to me.

Catholic Tube | Catholic Videos

Living As A Confident Daughter Of God

Living As A Confident Daughter Of God

I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy of this wonderful book by Patricia Mitchell and the Word among Us Press - it is a wonderful book for women's groups or anyone looking to grow in "God-confidence".  Check it out here.

To Teach May 2008

To Teach May 2008

Great ideas for parents in the May Issue of "To Teach" from USCCB:

  • Download or listen to the daily readings and reflection podcasts on your computer. Use the readings and reflections as topics for discussion during family dinners.
  • During the Memorial Day weekend, take time as a family to pray a few of the Prayers for Peace.
  • Provide family members and friends who are not Catholic but will attend a First Communion, wedding, or Confirmation with a copy of Introduction to the Order of Mass. This book offers a detailed guide to the celebration of Mass, from introductory to concluding rites. Schedule some time to review the part of the liturgy with them before the Mass begins.
  • Teach your children prayers and devotions to Mary during the month of May using the Book of Mary.
  • Print out a copy of The Beatitudes for Women. Invite the children of the family to transfer the reflection onto a card or poster board and decorate it as a gift for Mother’s Day. Then pray the prayer together.
  • With your children, find objects in your household that can be used as symbols for the mysteries of the rosary—a wine bottle for the wedding feast at Cana (the second of the Luminous Mysteries) or an olive branch for the agony in the garden (the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries). Place these objects near or around your statue or picture of Mary as you pray the rosary with your children.
  • Review the common prayers that are recited during the rosary—Our Father, Glory Be, Hail Mary, and Hail, Holy Queen—with your children.
  • As the month begins, read “Chapter 12. Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member” in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Reflect on discussion questions 2 and 3 from the perspective of a parent.
  • In celebration of Mother’s Day, invite your children to affirm Mom as someone who imitates Mary very well. Look at the prayers to and scripture stories about Mary for ideas as well as Chapter 12 on Mary in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Write these affirmations on a big card, on pieces of ribbon, or on a banner made.

My Adorable Nephews

I know I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure my nephews Evan and Tyler are just about the cutest kids ever born.

Happy birthday Evan - I love you both!! Auntie Lisa

Making Music Praying Twice - music and movement for the Catholic child

Making Music Praying Twice - music and movement for the Catholic child

Kate wrote me this week to share the great news about her new endeavor, entitled "Making Music Praying Twice" that is a curriculum for music and movement for the Catholic Child. I would have absolutely loved this type of program when my kids were younger!

Please take a few moments to check out Making Music Praying Twice - it looks like a great resource for Catholic families and religious educators!

Catholic Summer Reading Program

Catholic summer reading program

Ian at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods has recently announced that his summer reading program will be back this summer. The finalists all look great! Be sure to head over to and cast your vote for your favorite! - Video game content reviews for parents

Cami Tapley, an internet friend of mine, recently brought to my attention a new site her son Jorim is working on that is a greatly needed resource for parents.  Jorim's List gives content-driven descriptions of the latest video games for parents and caregivers who want to know what their kids are playing. 

I'm surprised at the number of parents who purchase mature rated games for kids and turn a blind eye to the content of these games.  Jorim gives you the straight-to-the-point overview you need to make informed parenting decisions.  Since he's a gamer, you'll also get Jorim's perspective on the entertainment value of games, thereby helping you avoid buying a game your kids will find boring after the first day.  Please check out Jorim's List prior to making your decision about game purchases and support the great work he's doing to keep our kids safely entertained! - Video game content reviews for parents

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eric Hits the Road

Dear Eric,

Congratulations on passing your Driver's License test today! I know you've put in many hours of study and practice to achieve this milestone in your life, so your Dad and I are very proud of you.

I remember the day I earned my license (after flunking my test the first time I took it!) and how I couldn't wait to hit the road. With your independent spirit, I know you feel the same way! So, I must admit to having a tinge of sadness mixed in with my pride and excitement for you. For over sixteen years, driving you has been my job and my joy. Every day, when I drop you off at school, I say a quiet prayer for you as you leave the car. I pray for your well being and for your total happiness. At the end of each school day, as I wait for you in the parking lot, I anticipate the things you will tell me about the events that have happened to you during the hours we've been separated. I can tell by the way you walk to the car whether your day has been good or bad, and I'm always happy to hear about each tiny detail you share.

The process of letting you go has been a gradual one. It started when you walked, and then crawled. Letting you cross the street or take the training wheels off your bike was the next step. At school, when you were big enough to walk yourself across the parking lot to your classroom without me I thought you were so grown up! I remember the first time you went for a run on your own, and the first bike ride you took without me - I held my breath the whole time and prayed for your speedy return!

And now, with your license in hand, it's time for your Dad and I to watch you take that next step towards your destiny. We trust you implicitly and know that your high sense of responsibility will keep you on the right path. Someday soon (probably tonight...), you will ask to use the car and you will drive away by yourself. You might go to the bookstore, or to a friends', or just out to drive around. While you're gone, I will worry, I will pray and I will miss you - because that's what moms do. I'll also miss driving you to school and having the immediate joy of seeing your face as you jump into my car. Remember that you're going to have to humor me when you come home by sharing a few tidbits of information.

I'm so proud of you Eric, not just for earning your license, but more importantly for the fine person you are becoming. Today, you embark on yet another adventure. Be responsible, be safe, and have fun!

I love you,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Catholic Moments #51 - Nancy Krebs

We spotlight the music of Nancy Krebs in this episode, featuring two songs from her CD Songs from the Heart. The burning question "What exactly is Catholic New Media?" is discussed and Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection on welcoming kids at Mass. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Nancy Krebs
Catholic New Media Celebration
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments Podcast #51

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Weekly Column Roundup

Hi Everyone! I've been firmly planted at my desk the past few days adding tons of great columns to! I hope you can take some time these week to enjoy the many pearls of wisdom, wit and inspiration shared by our talented columnists.

This week, we add two new faces to the gang - Kate Wicker, with her new column Momopoly, "Will Work for Children", and Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Your Health Detective.

Think you'd like to share your writing as a columnist? Email for more information.

Marian Lanterns by Alice Gunther

Disappointment by our New "Momopoly" Columnist Kate Wicker

Meet Kelly,'s new "Kitchen Kop"

But Does It Work? A Natural Family Planning Perspective by Sara Fox Petereson

Convention or Liberation? by Guest Columnist Genevieve Kineke

Now What? by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Sanctuary by Michele Howe

How Do You Listen to God? by Janet Cassidy

Platform for a Fight, Then a Bit of Reality by Marybeth Hicks

Eight Sleep Tips for Every Child by Elizabeth Pantley

Demystifying the Cat Mystique by Lisa Barker

Modern Day Slavery, Conclusion - Human Trafficking by Susan Handle Terbay

Subscribe to Catholic Mom Moments and never miss a post!

Listen to Lisa on the Radio Today

At 5:00 pm, thanks to my gracious husband who has consented to pick up the boys from school, I will be interviewing with Bill Donaghy of The Heart of Things.  In case you miss it, the show will also be available in podcast format, but you can listen live at In His Sign Network | Catholic Internet Radio

Fr. Jim Martin's Upcoming Blog Tour

Thanks to Catholic Meme for the heads up on one of my favorite author's upcoming blog tour.  Visit Jesuit James Martin to see the dates and locations for the tour.  So cool!

Jesuit James Martin

Marian Images and Songs

A special thanks to Susan Bailey of Grapevine Magazine for this wonderful video. You will enjoy beautiful images of Mary while hearing some wonderful songs. Perfect for the month of May!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Catholic Fire: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- A Movie Review

At Catholic Fire, Jean has a helpful review of Prince Caspian and some good links.  If you've seen the movie, I'd love to hear from you - did you like it, love it, hate it?  Catholic Fire: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- A Movie Review

When Faith and Family Conflict

Over at her blog, our Adoption columnist Heidi Hess Saxton has an amazing post today on a moving conversation she had this weekend with her mother.  Heidi is an adult convert to Catholicism, and was called on by her mother to defend her faith - she does so eloquently and with a passion that moved me to tears.  Please take a moment to visit Mommy Monsters Inc.: In the Company of God ... and Mary ... and Mom.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This reminds me that my Tahoe needs to be washed too!

Thanks to Deacon Tom for this cute photo and the following note:

In a few weeks, we'll be heading back east (Franciscan Univ. & Dee's home in PA).... On Sundays back in PA -- it is fairly common to see Mennonite families going to do their shopping on Saturdays or to church on Sundays.... It never dawned on me to wonder what they did to wash their vehicles. Why - they go to a Christian church youth fund raiser, of course.

Proud Mom Alert

Congratulations to my wonderful son Eric who earned an Honorable Mention in our Fresno Bee's 2008 Academic All Stars competition. You can click here and scroll down to the Tenth Graders to read how wonderful my son is! Not that I'm biased - I already know both my sons are all stars...

Steven Greydanus' Take on Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

If you've listened to Catholic Moments #50, you heard a group of Catholic school kids' reaction to the Prince Caspian movie.  My 13 year old Adam, a major fan of the Chronicles, was somewhat dismayed by the liberties taken in the movie and how much he felt it differed from the book.  Critic Steven Greydanus has a very thoughtful treatment on this topic and his review of Prince Caspian is well worth reading.  I likely fall into the category Steven describes when he says, "More inspired by the book than adapting it, Caspian is most likely to appeal to those not especially attached to the book, which is after all a lesser work flanked by two more popular tales."  Which probably explains why I like the movie better than Adam did...

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

A Rosary Reflection You Will Want to Enjoy

just another day of Catholic pondering: Loveliness of Rosaries

Sarah Reinhard of Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering has put together a simply beautiful compilation of reflections on the Rosary.  Please take a few moment's to visit Sarah's blog and enjoy the inspirational words and images she has assembled - incredible tributes to Our Blessed Mother and to the power of the Rosary.  Thanks Sarah!

Jesus, Our Fountain of Youth

True youthfulness is found in Jesus, Pope Benedict says

This CNA article has a wonderful overview of Pope Benedict XVI's address to youth in Savona, Italy.  Among the inspiring comments and quotes, the following:

The Pope invited youth to "Always be young."  He stressed that "real youth" is not a matter of age or efficiency, being cool, or following "mythical figures," but is instead about being "good and generous."

The Holy Father said that Jesus is "genuine goodness." He added that, unfortunately, many young people are "old inside.” While not lacking in earthly goods, they are missing the one thing that is important, the "someone that really fills the soul." He said there are those too, who want to stay young at all costs and mask themselves in youth, even though the time of youth is visibly past.

While the future holds much promise for youth, he said, it is also a time of uncertainty and anxiety.

"The youth have the whole future ahead of him. Everything is the future - time of hope. And the future is full of promises. To be honest, we have to say that for many the future is also unclear. ‘Will I find a job? Will I find a house? Will I find love? What will be my real future?' And before these threats the future may also appear as a great void. So many want to stop the time for fear of a future in a vacuum.  They want now to consume all the beauty of life - and so the oil lamp is consumed when life would begin. It is important to choose the real promises, which open to the future - even with disclaimers. He who chooses God still has in old age a future without end and without threats."

Jesus, Pope Benedict said, is the fundamental choice for all who wish to remain young.

"He alone is the friend who never betrays, faithful to the gift of life on the Cross. Surrender to his love! …He alone can dissolve your worries and your fears and fulfill your expectations. He gave his life for us, every one of us."

The Pope said to really know Jesus, it is not enough to remain at a distance. Rather, he said to the crowd of young people, "you must follow him closely, not from afar. We must meet him in prayer, sacramental life, in the Gospel …in the great communion of the Church, in the encounter with the poor."

"Only then, knowing Jesus personally can communicate our friendship to others. We can overcome indifference. Because even when it appears sometimes that we are invincible and indifferent, and it seems that there is no need for God, in reality everybody knows that something is missing in their lives. And only having discovered Jesus do we come to understand: ‘this is what I was expecting.’ And the more we become friends of Jesus, the more we can open our hearts also to others, because they too become really young."

Words of wisdom, regardless of your age!!

The Daily Homily

The Daily Homily

Via Donna-Marie's blog, the good news about a daily resource for inspiration. Check out The Daily Homily, a blog by Fr. James from Corpus Christi, Texas. Looks to be a wonderful resource!

Discovering for the First Time

So many Catholic websites, so little time! A news piece brought this site to my attention today and it looks to be filled with helpful resources. I've subscribed to the blog feed and look forward to exploring the site in greater detail.

ActiveParishioner - Top Catholic books and resources to connect your faith with your daily life

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Catholic Moments #50 - Catholic Kids See Prince Caspian

Come along as we go to watch the movie Prince Caspian with Adam and some of his friends. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this Episode:
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Official Website
Prince Caspian Movie Educational Resources
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments Podcast #50

Bond between the Sacraments of Eucharist and Marriage

Pope Benedict XVI spoke this week to the Ponitifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.  We have so many families living in my own area who would fall into this category, and their living conditions can be so very difficult.  When we look at areas of need around our world, sometimes its easy for us to forget about and to neglect those living in poverty in our own backyards. 

I was moved by this quote from the CNA article about this event:

"People who go to Mass …find in the Eucharist a powerful allusion to their own family, their own marriage; and they are encouraged to live their lives from the point of view of faith, seeking in divine grace the strength to succeed," the Pope underscored.

To read the article in full visit: Church must protect migrant families, strengthen marriage, Holy Father maintains

Listen to Donna-Marie on Vatican Radio

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle has posted a link to an interview she did with Joan Lewis of Vatican Radio during her recent trip to Rome.  Great job, Donna-Marie!

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: Interview on Vatican Radio

Prayer for China by Pope Benedict XVI

Via CNA, please join me in praying for the many suffering in China and for the repose of the souls of those lost in the devastation. 

Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians”,
the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.
We come before you today to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.
May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

Prayer for China by Pope Benedict XVI

Lapbooks for Catholics

Danielle Bean » Lapbooks for Catholics  Danielle has some great information about a resource you'll want to check out - yet another tool for helping your kids learn about our Faith.  Has anyone used these yet?  My boys are a bit old for them, but my nephews aren't!

Yet Another Reason to Love my iPod

Eric actually brought iTunes you to my attention this week.  He's been attending lectures at Berkeley and Stanford for the past month, visiting Yale, and checking out some other great schools too all via his iPod.  Unfortunately, Notre Dame's not on iTunes U yet, but you can check out some wonderful lectures from the Dome at Notre Dame Open CourseWare.  Great for teens, even better for Moms!

Notre Dame Undergraduate Admissions: iTunes U

Are You Martha, or Mary?

Cheryl Dickow has a wonderful column this week at Catholic Exchange, taking a look at her inner Martha and Mary.  I'd say I'm more Mary than Martha, but not really a full portion of either!  I hope you will read and enjoy Cheryl's article:  Mary and Martha Both Live Here | Catholic Exchange

Spiritual Woman: Book Review: Gifts

Patrice has a wonderful review of a “Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives” which sounds like a great read.  Thanks for the inspiration Patrice!

Spiritual Woman: Book Review: Gifts

Five Minutes with the Holy Spirit | Catholic Exchange

Five Minutes with the Holy Spirit | Catholic Exchange

Following on the heals of Pentecost last Sunday, I loved this article.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catholic Moments #49 - Monica McConkey

Lisa shares a conversation with Monica McConkey of Arma Dei, a company that creates products to help families celebrate our Catholic faith. Deacon Tom Fox shares a special reflection on seeing Christ in our priests and Parish Media Liaison Kerry gives us the heads up on the Bella DVD. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Productivity @ Home
Arma Dei
Catholic Hack Podcast
Angelina - Hail Holy Queen
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments Podcast #49

Audio Rosary Resources

Catholic News Agency has a story today about audio recordings of the Rosary led by Pope Benedict XVI. The four CD set features the Holy Father leading the Rosary in Latin. I found this excerpt from the article to be very inspirational:

Father Lombardi also underscored that Benedict XVI has a “profound Marian devotion. He prays the Rosary every day with his secretaries while walking, and thus he invites us to us this prayer: simple, humble, daily, which everyone can pray with devotion and which helps us also to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ together with Mary, who is obviously the person closest to Christ.”
Commenter Santiago shared a link today to a great video that has me very motivated about praying the Rosary more regularly and wanting to share the joy of the Rosary with others. I wanted to share with you some of my own favorite audio rosary resources and would love to hear about your favorites.

New SQPN Video Series - Grace before Meals!

I absolutely LOVE the latest video series from Grace Before Meals features Fr. Leo Patalinghug and the first four episodes of the series will feature "liturgically colored sauces". I'm not a cook, so I wasn't expecting to be as excited about this series as I am, but Fr. Leo makes cooking look fun. Enjoy episode one as Fr. Leo takes us grocery shopping for all of the key ingredients. I can't wait to see the next episode and am actually going to try Fr. Leo's recipes with my family. Check it out and help us spread the word about this next best thing from SQPN.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Frustrating Day

Today was kind of a stinker. You can read all about it over at Productivity @ Home. Here's hoping that I get my act together tomorrow!

Our Lady of Fatima

Enjoy! Via Jean at Catholic Fire

Technology is no substitute for marital love

CNA has an interesting article today on Pope Benedict's remarks to an international conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae.

Check Out Catholic Magazine!

The co-producers of the popular That Catholic Show video series have launched a different - but 100% faithful - look into Catholic life.

The result is the brand new audio program, Catholic Magazine, which provides a unique blend of viewpoints from priests, laypeople, teachers, and even a military officer, who share stories about living a Catholic life.

“With Catholic Magazine we wanted to capture some of the beautiful story-telling aspects that can be found on radio programs such as those on National Public Radio, but to tell these kinds of stories from a Catholic perspective,” says show host Greg Willits. “The voices and stories you’ll hear are always unique, but the Catholicism of the writers ties them all together.”

Each episode of Catholic Magazine features several short segments by different writers and narrators, offering listeners with different themes on each episode.

Catholic Magazine is available to listen to from the website of the Star Quest Production Network (, as well as from the Rosary Army website ( where listeners can also download episodes of the award winning Rosary Army Catholic Podcast.

The weekly series is also available for download via podcasts. Podcasts, which are similar to radio shows, are free, downloadable audio files saved in MP3 format that can be listened to on computers or portable media devices such as MP3 players, CD players, and iPods.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Congratulations Pat Gohn!

Congratulations to our beloved columnist and Write In Between blogger Pat Gohn on the occasion of her graduation from Franciscan University! In between being a great wife and mom of three, Pat made time to earn her Master's Degree in Theology. I have been a fan of Pat's writing from the various first thing of hers I read - I know that she is going to take her degree and her wonderful abilities and continue to make our world and our Church a better place.

Congratulations Pat - you are an inspiration to me and to many others who have been blessed to come to know you through your writing! Weekly Column Roundup

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and Pentecost. As we settle into Ordinary Time, this week's columns are anything but ordinary. Please take a few moments this week to relax and enjoy these important perspectives. This week, we have a few more serious topics such as the columns by Heidi Hess Saxton and Susan Handle Terbay. I want to thank each of these columnists for taking time to share, inspire and educate us. You are the best!

Understanding Four Marian Doctrines by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Modern Day Slavery, Part II - Human Trafficking by Susan Handle Terbay

Take Time for Your Own Gut Check - Lisa Hendey interviews Tarek Saab, author of Gut Check

When Your Child Has Been Abused - Heidi Hess Saxton, in consultation with two Catholic Counselors, takes a look at this serious topic

Clear Vision by Michele Howe

Sheltered from Bad TV, Poor Influences by Marybeth Hicks

Children, Television and Video Games by Lisa Barker

Friday, May 09, 2008

What's Twitter and Why Does Lisa Like It So Much?

Many of you have written to me to ask "What's Twitter and why do you keep talking and writing about it?". Well, this little video does a great job of explaining the concept of Twitter in plain English. After you've watched the video, I would invite you to check out my profile on Twitter at

I "tweet" about two to three times a day, mostly sharing news about my blogs and podcast, but also frequently sharing about the little things that fill my day with such joy. Twitter is yet another way to keep up with friends online and to make new friends who share our interests. We have a vibrant, incredibly supportive Catholic community on Twitter. It's not unusual for someone to post a prayer request there and instantly receive feedback from fellow Twitter readers who join instantly in praying for that intention. If your a blogger, it's also a great place to help spread the word about your writing. I find that I greatly enjoy the time I spend each day connecting with others on Twitter and hope you'll check it out and consider following me. If you still have questions, feel free to drop a comment below or email me!

Tech Tips for Catholic Teens (and their Moms!)

Josh from the Perseverance Podcast has a great new blog project entitled Tech Tips for Catholic Teens. His blog will include tips to help teens use new media technologies to share their faith and love of Christ with others and to maybe learn some life skills at the same time. He will be sharing posts by guest bloggers and has graciously invited me to be involved. I think this is a greatly needed site, so I hope you'll join me in supporting and frequently visiting Tech Tips for Catholic Teens.

Take Time for Your Own Gut Check

At first glance, most of my readers might not think a book entitled Gut Check: Confronting Love, Work, and Manhood in Your Twenties would be one of this Catholic Mom's favorites. But you'd be wrong - it truly is one of the best books I've read this year. You can read my interview with the book's author Tarek Saab here and please seriously consider buying this one - you will be glad you made the time to read it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Catholic Moments #48 - Teresa Tomeo

Lisa interviews Teresa Tomeo, nationally syndicated host of Catholic Connection and author of Noise: How Our Media-saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families. Deacon Tom Fox helps us celebrate Mother's Day with a wonderful reflection and Parish Media Liaison Kerry helps spread the word about Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Teresa Tomeo
Catholic Media Alert - Teresa Tomeo's blog
Noise: How Our Media-saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families
Rocking Romans
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments Podcast #48

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Prayers requested

Since you guys are all such great pray-ers, I'd love to ask for your prayers for three intentions today. #1 is a private intention. #2 is for Mrs. S who is experiencing paralysis from a sudden illness. #3 is for Camilla, who was badly injured in a horse accident. I am constantly moved and amazed by the powerful support of this community and thank you, in advance, for your prayers for these intentions.

Marybeth Hicks' New Blog: The Compass

Author and columnist Marybeth Hicks has a beautiful new website which includes a great blog where she shares her take on parenting, politics, media and culture.

Marybeth shares her columns with us weekly at and always has an edifying opinion about family life. Her newest book Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World comes out in July and will be a great addition to your parenting library. I hope you'll join me in making Marybeth's blog The Compass a regular stop along your blog-reading journey!

Mother's Day Celebration at

In anticipation of Mother's Day this weekend, we have some great Mother's Day resources at How will you be celebrating this weekend?

My childhood memories of Mother's Day set a very high bar for the day. As the oldest of five children, I always loved bringing my mom breakfast in bed on the big day. She would sit up, surrounded by all of us and eating a special meal prepared by Daddy and the kids. There would be a parade of gifts, sometimes extravagant but most times simple, kid-made stuff that she always seemed to cherish. We couldn't wait to spend the morning spoiling her.

To this day, the place I always most wish to be on Mother's Day is in my Mom's bed! Since she lives in Mississippi, sadly this won't happen this year. I'm blessed to have the world's best Mom, and happy to have an occasion to celebrate her.

Catholic Communications Campaign Collection Coming Soon

The following news arrived in my inbox today and I thought I'd pass it along to you. If you haven't already done so, please take some time today to check out the website of the Catholic Communication Campaign. It is absolutely packed full of resources to help you live out this wonderful faith of ours!


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2008 - The U.S. Catholic bishops in the U.S. have designated the third Sunday of May as the national date for the Collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign to coincide with World Communications Day. The collection will take place in parishes across the country the weekend of May 18-19.

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen "The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service. Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others" as this year's theme of World Communications Day.

Funding provided by the donations supports an array of multimedia projects developed by the CCC, an initiative of the U.S. bishops that promotes Gospel values through the media. Half of the donations to the collection remain in the diocese to fund local communications projects such as televised Masses for the homebound, diocesan newspapers and Web sites. The other half provides funds for national projects.

Building on the popularity of the daily Mass readings featured on the USCCB Web site, the CCC now supports audio readings that can be downloaded through iTunes, Podcast Alley and other sources. Daily reflections can be viewed via streaming video at

Most recently, the CCC sponsored a Web site dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Visit to the United States that featured live streaming video, blog entries, itinerary and texts of the Holy Father's speeches, homilies, and other remarks, information on his life and ministry, backgrounders on the Catholic Church in the U.S. and more.

The annual collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign has also supported:

  • the USCCB For Your Marriage campaign-television and radio Public Service Announcements and a Web site designed to celebrate marriage and provide resources and support for those living this vocation.
  • the television special, Picturing Mary, airing on many public television stations since December 2006.
  • Lenten radio retreats to enrich the spiritual journey of the season.
  • the expansion of with information on TV and radio programs, streaming video, movie and TV reviews, interviews, and inspiring stories of faith in action.

"As the impact of the media on family and society grows, the Catholic Church in the U.S., through the CCC Collection, has continued to find ways to use print, radio, television and the Internet to spread the good news of the Gospel," said Helen Osman, Secretary for Communications of the USCCB. "The continued generosity of parishioners in the Collection will help us reach an even broader audience through new technologies."

For more information about projects of the Catholic Communication Campaign, please contact Mar Muñoz-Visoso at 202.541.3202 or visit

Monday, May 05, 2008

Moms Group in West LA?

Reader Molly and her two year old are seeking a Moms group in the West LA area. If you know of a group, please email me or share your information in the comments below. Thanks!

Prince Caspian Educational Resources

If you're looking forward to the Prince Caspian movie, be sure to check out the great educational resources from the Walden website. Check them out here.

Our Friend Sharmane Wins a Big Music Award!

Pensacola, FL, April 28, 2008 - Prayerful Hearts Ministry is pleased to announce that Contemporary Catholic/Christian performing artist-SHARMANE-was recently recognized as an award recipient at the 2008 KCCM Awards held in Kansas City on Saturday, April 26th. SHARMANE received the award for FEMALE VOCALIST of the Year. This is the first-time award for SHARMANE-who also was invited to perform her 2007 radio single titled I SURRENDER, (which spent over 20 weeks on the Christian Radio & Retail Weekly I-chart), at the multi-faith awards presentation. I SURRENDER was also recognized as a final nominee for the Song of the Year category.

The KCCM Awards are sponsored annually by KingCat Music based in the Kansas City area. This organization serves to recognize artists who are part of the KingCat Music network in a variety of award categories including Artist of the Year (in each music genre), Group of the Year and Song of the Year. KingCat Music includes local, regional and national independent artists that perform in the Christian music genre. The awards are held each spring at a Kansas City area venue. Sponsors for the event include notable businesses, professionals in the Christian music industry, along with several radio stations, and news periodicals. For more information on the KCCM Awards visit

For more information on SHARMANE visit Weekly Column Roundup

We have so many wonderful columns at this week. I hope you'll find time to enjoy them and to share the good news about our wonderful columnists with your family and friends.

May Motherhood Smiles by Deacon Tom Fox

Motherhood, Mary, and the "More" of God by Pat Gohn

Modern Day Slavery, Part I - Human Trafficking by Susan Handle Terbay

A Time for Miracles by Patrice Fagnant MacArthur

Being Spiritually Awake for the Feast by Sherry Antonetti

Motherhood in the Bosom of the Trinity by Guest Columnist Genevieve Kineke

Hands On, Prayers to Restore the Soul by Michele Howe

The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit by Janet Cassidy

Fitness Focus: The Psychology of Weight Loss

"10 Going on 25" Isn't a Joke, It's Marketing by Marybeth Hicks

Nice People Get Lice Too by Cheryl Butler

Ready or Not, Here He Comes by Lisa Barker

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Our Lady of the Smile

Among the other books I'm currently reading is one entitled The Story of a Family: The Home of St. Therese of Lisieux(The Little Flower) by Fr. Stephane-Joseph Piat, OFM. I read these types of books painfully slowly, a few pages at a time, savoring a few moments of quiet contemplation each day. Therese is, of course, a family favorite. My love for her was born years ago in my childhood home, where a relic of St. Therese held favored status among my parents' treasures. As I grew old enough to read and understand her Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, Third Edition, my devotion to St. Therese blossomed and grew. Somehow, though, I don't recall ever having heard about a statue now called Our Lady of the Smile that belonged to Therese's father, Louis Martin, and that presided over her miraculous cure. When I ran across a reference to Our Lady of the Smile in the Piat book today, I took a few moments to google the statue and came up with the following prayer. I thought you might enjoy it as well!


Gentle Mary, My Mother,
I place before you the worries,
hurts and hopes of my heart.
They shrink my soul and I feel heavy and hopeless.
Darkness closes in around me.
I reach out to you, bright Lady of Hope.
Smile on me.
Smile on my loved ones and the intentions I place before you.

(Mention your intentions here...)

Your tender smile works miracles and heals,
as you did with St. Therese, the Little Flower.
You are my true Mother.
You show the tender mercy of God.
Smile on me, Blessed Mother,
and all will be well.

Source: Catholic Doors Ministry

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What the Mom Who Lives in Your House Really Wants for Mother's Day!

Top Ten Songs for Mary

Milford, CT - Top Catholic Songs formally announced today the voting results for the Top Ten Songs for Mary from Catholic Artists. "Queen of Heaven", written and performed by Mark Mallett for his rosary project "Through Her Eyes: A Journey to Jesus" was voted #1 song. Sean Clive's "Mary's Song" comes in second, with the exceptional cover of "Hail Mary, Gentle Woman" places Gretchen Harris at #3.

Paul Harrigan's "Medjugorje" secured the #4 spot, with Fr Kent O'Connor's rendition of the "Magnificat" (from his concept album "Saints") right behind at #5. Nick Cardilino's "Do Whatever He Tells You" while Annie Karto's cover of "Song to Our Lady of Guadalupe" fill
out the #6 and #7 positions, respectively. Mark Mallett places on the list a second time, as "Ode to Mary" lands at #8. The classically-trained Trish Foti Genco ranks #9 with her rendition of "Ave Maria", and the list ends with Nancy Krebs' original "Queen of Apostles".

The purpose of this Top Ten list was to honor Catholic artists for their musical and technical achievements in providing Catholics with quality recorded music which is entertaining, edifying, and educational.

According to a poll of the Top Catholic Songs online community, these 10 songs represent the best recorded songs by Catholic musicians for Mary:

1. Queen of Heaven / Mark Mallett
2. Mary's Song / Sean Clive
3. Hail Mary, Gentle Woman / Gretchen Harris
4. Medjugorje / Paul Harrigan
5. Magnificat / Fr. Kent O'Connor
6. Do Whatever Tells You / Nick Cardilino
7. Song to Our Lady of Guadalupe / Annie Karto
8. Ode to Mary / Mark Mallett
9. Ave Maria / Trish Foti Genco
10. Queen of Apostles / Nancy Krebs

To hear and download the Top Ten Songs for Mary by Catholic Artists, and other Top Ten lists, go to http://www.topcatholicsongs. com/Mary/List

TopCatholicSongs. com is an online community where Catholics can find music from Catholic artists organized in the popular "Top Ten" style. The lists are dynamically connected to iTunes--through which any seeker of Catholic music can listen to and download songs, burn CD's, and discover new artists.

Friday, May 02, 2008

News about Father Damien

One of my favorite "blesseds" is Father Damien de Vesteur of Moloka'i - we celebrate his feast day next Saturday on May 10. I came across this interesting article today attributing a miraculous cancer cure to his intercession. This reminded to share with you one of my favorite movies entitled Molokai: The Story of Father Damien. Consider watching the movie this week in anticipation of Blessed Father Damien's day.

Papal Visit Results in Big Jump in Positive View of Benedict and Church

Thanks to Deacon Tom Fox for sharing the great news about a recent Knights of Columbus poll that finds much to celebrate in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States. You can find the article here.

On another note, someone asked today about finding the complete texts from the Papal Addresses that were given. You can find those online here. I'm contemplating taking one per week for the next several weeks and using it as a prompt for prayer, writing and contemplation.

The following are some of the most important elements of the Knights of Columbus article:

  • 65 percent of Americans have a more positive view of Pope Benedict as a result of what they saw and heard during his visit

  • 52 percent have a more positive view of the Catholic Church

  • The proportion of Americans with a favorable view of Pope Benedict jumped from 58 percent prior to his visit to 71 percent afterward

  • The proportion describing the pope positively as a spiritual leader went from 53 percent to 62 percent

  • The proportion describing him as a good or excellent world leader went from 41 percent to 51 percent

  • 56 percent see his ability to promote good relations between the Catholic Church and other religions as good or excellent, up from 40 percent prior to his visit

  • More than a third (35 percent) say they are now more in touch with their own spiritual values as the result of the pope’s visit.

Even more importantly, nearly half (49 percent) now have a better understanding of the Catholic Church’s positions on important issues, and a significant proportion of Americans are prepared to change their personal involvement as a result:

  • About four in ten say they are more likely to lead a moral life and make family a bigger part of their lives
  • One in three are more likely to participate in elections, community activities and their churches as a result of the papal visit.

Need Your Book Suggestions!

A reader is looking for book suggestions for pro-life books aimed at ages 10 through 19. If you have any suggestions, please share them here or drop me a note. Thanks!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Join My War on Identity Theft

Nearly a year has passed since I was the unsuspecting victim of Identity Theft. In the past year, I've learned a ton about how to protect yourself and your family from this horrible crime. I'm declaring the first Thursday of every month "Eye on Identity Theft" day at my blogs and am going to begin nagging you to protect yourself. You can read my first installment today over at Productivity @ Home and share your tips too! Please don't be victimized like I was - take time today to educate and protect yourself, your spouse, and your children.

Caviezel Family's Adoption Journey

CNA has a wonderful story this week on actor Jim Caviezel and his wife's decision to adopt two children.

Of the many quotes in this inspiring story, this is my favorite:

“When you have great fear, that is when you are a Christian…you have no idea the blessings you have coming to you if you take a chance on faith.”

Amen Jim and Kerri and blessings to your family!

Please Pray for John Michael Talbot's Hermitage

I learned via American Papist of a terrible fire at Little Portion Hermitage Monastery, home of John Michael Talbot and others. Many of you know Talbot's music and this is a devastating thing to happen to any community.

If you would like to financially support the Monastery Recovery Fund, click here for additional information.